I am a 62 year old female and in the past year have been plagued by absolutely horrendous foul smelling gas. My sister and 2 brothers have lactose intolerance and one has ibs and another has diverticulitis. I had a colonoscopy within the last year and all was well there. My doctor ordered blood tests to test for lactose intolerance and chron's but both were ruled out. The doctor put me in Cymbalta (anti depressant) because it can help in reducing stress. I used to be very active and enjoyed going places with my family and friends. Now, I am a recluse because the odor is so bad that I cannot sleep in the same room with my husband of 43 years. Our sex life is non existent because I am so fearful of expelling gas and it is a true mood killer. My grandkids have said that they don't want to stay at my home because of the "grandma smells". I have tried Gas X both the pills and the strips. Can anyone offer any advice to me. I will try anything. should I be seeing a specialist
Wow, it sounds like you already know enough about GI issues to realize that there can be food intolerance issues involved. I can appreciate how distressing this has to be. Perhaps there are some food issues that haven't been addressed. One thing that happens to women is that we often become gluten intolerant as well. This goes hand in hand with the lactose intolerance. So, as you must already know, when doctors can't find anything wrong with the diagnositic tests, they will say a person has IBS, but you haven't mentioned any other symptoms other than the terrible gas you're experiencing.
There are many other common food intolerances that people have that aren't necessarily "true" allergies. If you were tested for lactose intolerance through a food allergy test for dairy products and it came back negative, this doesn't necessarily mean that you aren't lactose intolerant. There are 16 common food allergens that are also food sensitivities that can't always be found by testing with the skin scratch test method or the RAST, MAST, FAST and ELISA blood tests. Conventional medicine does not call these "true" allergies. But, a person can have food sensitivities that have to be found through a long process called an elimination diet. While conventional medicine often frowns upon natural medicine, conventional medicine doesn't argue with the elimination food challenge diet. I had to go through the same process, because I have a serious case of IBS with constipation. It was much worse before I went through the elimination diet.
The best way of going through an elimination diet is with guidance from a naturopath. I found a naturopath that will work with a sliding fee schedule. Otherwise, I wouldn't be able to afford it myself. She says that she starts all of her patients with the elimination diet, regardless of what the person goes to see her for, because food affects us in so many ways. People often have food sensitivities that they didn't realize that they had until after they've gone through the elimination diet. I hadn't heard of the elimination diet beforehand, but I had already discovered many of the sensitivities I have on my own. It turns out that I have a great deal more food sensitivities than are even on that list. This may not be the case for you, though, so don't panic.
Okay, a rough overview is that the naturopath will give you a hand out that lists all the foods that you should avoid for a period no shorter than two weeks before you start "challenging" the items on the list. If you don't have a reaction to that food, you can add it back into your diet. If you do have a reaction to that food, you will have to wait a bit longer while being back on the elimination diet than you would if you didn't have a reaction to that particular food before challenging the next item on the list. The big items will wait for last, which are dairy, wheat and sugar. Some people are only sensitive to the wheat, while others are sensitive to all grains with gluten in them. Your naturopath will explain which grains those are. The other big grain culprit for a lot of people is corn, which really isn't very digestable at all anyway. If you find that corn is bad for you and you love popcorn, you may enjoy Trader Joe's rice cakes. They remind me of popcorn more than Lundberg's rice cakes do. Just a thought. Soda pop is out, because of the high fructose corn syrup. Two problems here: The high fructose corn syrup is an obvious sugar, and it's made from corn. Those aren't the only issues with high fructose corn syrup, but they're the ones that matter in this situation.
I discovered some food sensitivities that are not on that list. Since the naturopath had me keep a food diary, she noticed that garlic was mentioned a lot, since I was very good about writing down exactly what I put into my foods. I don't eat processed foods. In fact, that's a very important thing to avoid when talking about food sensitivities. There are so many chemicals and preservatives and who knows what all is in that stuff that it shouldn't even be called food in the first place. It may be "convenient", but at what cost? I hate onions, but I love garlic. However, when I stopped garlic and ginger, my symptoms improved. Here is the thing about ginger, and I love it, too: It's in the same family as garlic and onions, since it's actually another type of lily, too. This explains why ginger never helped my stomach ache when I was a little kid, too. It turned out that this was a sulfur issue with me. I never could drink alcohol, but I discovered that I can't cook with it either, because the sulfites, natural and otherwise, cause me problems. Since I never could drink alcohol, not cooking with wine has never been an issue for me. I know what it will do to me. So, this means no grapes, too. Grapes aggravate my GERD anyway, so it isn't hard to leave grapes alone. Not worth the misery. I get gassy from sulfer foods myself, so this may be something that will do it to you, too.
Another thing I discovered to my horror was a sensitivity to the lettuce and spinach family. It started less than a year ago. I love salad, but it doesn't love me. :( I started getting naueous and even vomiting from the lettuce and spinach greens. I even tried to see if it made a difference if the spinach was cooked or fresh. No, it doesn't. I want to be able to eat these foods, but it's not worth it to get that sick, since it takes me so long to recover from it afterwards. I hope this isn't the case for you. I doubt it is, though, or you would've discovered this one on your own--the hard way.
The other one not on the list was celery. I discovered that raw celery not only reminds me of the taste of soap, but it feels like glass shards going down my throat. That's scary.
One food that will make me gassy if I'm not careful about how much I eat is cucumbers. A friend of mine said that they talk back to her, too. Definitely something to keep in mind.
Okay, so these are the foods that are not on the list. I can't remember if beans are on the list, but everyone knows that beans can be a big no-no when you're already dealing with gas, so I'm sure you've already cut beans out of your diet.
So, I would definitely try seeing a naturopath for this elimination diet help, because I'm certain that you have food sensitivities that you may not have realized that you had before, too.
One added note that was a bonus of changing my diet over. I did this for my GI health, but I lost a tremendous amount of weight that I really needed to lose. I lost the amount of a small child. I had all that weight on me, because I didn't know I had all these food issues. I used to crave cheese. One of the signs of an allergy or food sensitivity is to crave the very thing that should be avoided. Once I was determined to avoid cheese and all other dairy, I lost the craving. I also began to lose a lot of weight. The other half of the weight came off when I stopped eating gluten. I was already aware that potatoes weren't good for me. They're actually fattening, too. It turns out that I'm very sensitive to the entire nightshade family. I used to crave tomatoes, too. And, red bell peppers. I wasn't crazy about the green ones in the first place, because they talk back to me. The foods in the nightshade family are also known for promoting and causing joint and muscle pain. It was easy for me to avoid the nightshade family, because all the foods in the nightshade family aggravate my GERD.
It is quite common for people to have the GERD/IBS combination, both conditions which can cause a person to suffer gas, too.
Hi, I'm a nutritionist. Yes, you should see a Gastroenterologist. If he can't find out what is wrong go see a holistic doctor. Find one that does a test called a Heidelberg Gastrogram (google this). Holistic drs do tests and treatments that traditional drs don't do. Have you tried taking Activated Charcoal capsules for the gas? You may have to take 5 at a time. People often put lumps of charcoal in their fridges to obsorb the ordor. My grand mother used to put charcoal in the babies bottle the baby had gas. the baby wouldn't drink the charcoal, but some would get in the water and take care of the gas. So try this. If your on medication, maybe you should ask your dr first. But if your not, go ahead and take it. Also, for some people sugar ferments in their system. Causing gas. Go a week without any sugar. Not even fruit or fruit juice. And no artifical sweeteners either. Buy Stevia (I like NOW brand) from the health food store and use that. Good luck!
I never heard of the Heidelberg Gastrogram test. Is this something that is covered by most health insurances? I'm in a situation where I really can't afford in the least bit anything very expensive when it comes to alternative medicine, even though it's the kind of medicine I prefer. I do know that I'm really tired of my colon hurting. I only get small breaks from the pain, then the pain is really bad again.
Make sure you get any kind of testing from the main stream medicine as possible. I would see a specialist and also ask them if they can give you a test to determin if you have a bacteria imbalance? If all checks out there, perhaps look into taking digestive enzymes. They help break down foods that might not be digesting in your system. A naturopathic doctor would help with this very easily. Also I had a problem with gas, but not smelly gas. But my doctor gave me a sort of elimination diet to do to find out which foods were giving me gas. I found that very helpful. You could view my doctors diet at this website. www.gicare.com
The barley grass is fine, if one is not gluten intolerant. Just remember, barley is in the gluten category. Not to worry, though, since there are plenty of other forms of chlorophyl, which work wonders as a natural internal body deodorant for some people, and there is certainly no problem in having more green stuff in the diet in some form or another.
Nature's Way - Activated Charcoal (2 capsules) and plenty of water. Peppermint or chammomile tea is good too. Some say that chlorophyll capsules will clean ur body of odor as well but I haven't tried it yet.
I've noticed over the past several years how with age I too have become sensitive to lactose and now sugar and wheat. I've tried a number of digestive enzymes that each worked temporarily. I've now switched to activated charcoal and they are giving me the most relief ever, but still not perfect. You'll notice the stool becomes darker.
Copyright 1994-2016 MedHelp International. All rights reserved.
MedHelp is a division of Aptus Health.
This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information.
The Content on this Site is presented in a summary fashion, and is intended to be used for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to be and should not be interpreted as medical advice or a diagnosis of any health or fitness problem, condition or disease; or a recommendation for a specific test, doctor, care provider, procedure, treatment plan, product, or course of action. Med Help International, Inc. is not a medical or healthcare provider and your use of this Site does not create a doctor / patient relationship. We disclaim all responsibility for the professional qualifications and licensing of, and services provided by, any physician or other health providers posting on or otherwise referred to on this Site and/or any Third Party Site. Never disregard the medical advice of your physician or health professional, or delay in seeking such advice, because of something you read on this Site. We offer this Site AS IS and without any warranties. By using this Site you agree to the following Terms and Conditions. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your physician or 911 immediately.